The current British Royal Family is composed of the Queen, Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, their children, and the Queen’s relatives bearing the title style Royal Highness. The current royal family is descended from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Before World War I, the British Royal Family is named the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. In 1917, out from strong anti-German sentiments and a surge of anti-monarchist propaganda, King George V (the current queen’s grandfather) changed the name of the British Royal Family from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor, named after the oldest inhabited castle in the world.
A Queen is Born
Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in 1926. Her father was then the Duke of York, while her mother was the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The young Elizabeth’s father was never expected to become king because he had an elder brother, Edward, Prince of Wales, who ascended as King Edward VIII in 1936. However, the new king fell in love with a twice-divorced American, Wallis Warfield-Simpson. Those days, marrying a divorcee meant social disgrace and the king was faced with the dilemma of choosing between his duty as head of the Great Britain and the Commonwealth and marrying the “woman that he loves.” He abdicated in December 1936, was made Duke of Windsor, and married Mrs. Simpson the following year.